Google's I/O conference, in usual form, kicked off with an explosive start. The day's news saw the revelation of things we've been waiting to see for months. Things we've heard rumor of, wished for, and even (quite accurately) predicted. With all the things we saw, it only seems right to round up all the day's news in one place. Grab a snack, because we've got a lot to talk about.
We heard about it earlier, and now it's official. The Nexus Q is a streaming media player that is designed to centralize your media streaming in the living room. The device connects to Google Music and allows both you and your friends to add media and rearrange playlists as they feed directly to your home theater. The device will launch for $300 on the Play Store.
The device includes support for optical audio out, as well as micro HDMI video and audio.
Well folks, it's finally (officially) here. Since it was yanked from the S3 (and put through a beta period), Android users have been anticipating the "Social Magazine" which has already seen great success on iOS. The app, which is billed as "the one thing to simplify your daily life," hit the Play Store tonight, bringing a social news reader with an innovative user interface to Android users everywhere.
For those unfamiliar with Flipboard, the app allows users to not only read news related to their favorite topics, but to share what they're reading and "be amazed by what [they] see when everything people are sharing, collecting, and publishing in every moment comes together in a single place." Users can connect Flipboard to 12 social networks ranging from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, and more.
Well, this sure came out of left field. Microsoft has released an official Xbox LIVE app for Android! The app can be used to view and modify your 3D Xbox avatar, track your achievements, connect with Xbox LIVE friends, and even get news and information from the Xbox Spotlight feeds. Color us surprised at how fully featured this app is.
The app has a distinctly Metro UI feel to it, which is unsurprising as Redmond has been keen to slather the vector-based UI on all of its properties these days, but the theme definitely clashes with Android.
Foursquare's mobile app hit the big five-point-oh today, with a brand new overhaul that's so comprehensive, the What's New section on the Play Store gave up and said "Go check it out for yourself!" The app has gotten a whole new ICS-styled look, which just looks fantastic. In addition, the app has revamped the "Explore" tab that allows you to see what's around you, encouraging more discovery, instead of mindlessly checking in whenever you happen to go to Starbucks.
Android users who are fans of Sid Meier's classic games Pirates! and Civilization now have something to look forward to – it appears hat GREE and 2K Games have teamed up to bring the beloved sim/strategy games to the mobile world.
The companies' statement indicated that the games would be available as "social titles on select global markets," evidently starting with Japan.
Fans of Facebook's mobile app and burgeoning integration with various online services should have something to look forward to in 2012 – founder Mark Zuckerberg, during the first week of a cross-country tour promoting the social networking giant's upcoming IPO, indicated that once the social giant goes public, its goal will be to focus on improving its mobile and advertising experiences.
Zuckerberg indicated that Facebook is "just getting started" with the app, and that the network plans to increase integration with other online apps while working to create a "transformative" ad experience.
In a continued attempt to make Android more viable as an entertainment platform, Google is working on a social gaming app in the same vein as Apple's Game Center, if Business Insider's sources are to be believed. The app would be a huge boon for social gaming on Android. As the platform grows, and gaming along with it, Google risks losing a golden opportunity to be even more deeply embedded within one of the biggest growth markets in mobile.
The social landscape of the 3rd millennium can be extremely confusing. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, texting, IM...it can all be a bit much. Sometimes you just want to get away from it all, go to a nice quiet place with someone you care about, curl up together and enjoy some nice alone time. Now, thanks to Pair, you can do that on the go! Pair is a social app that allows you to stay in contact with your significant other and no one else.
The extremely popular photo-sharing app Instagram, just days after hitting the Play Store, has received another update, this time bringing some pretty awesome changes.
Perhaps the most significant change the app's update to version 1.0.3 brings is compatibility for tablets and Wi-Fi handsets, meaning users can now share photos from all their Android devices with ease.
Besides the added compatibility, Instagram's latest update allows users to install the app to their SD card, thereby freeing up a little internal storage.